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Motors power most of the appliances we use every day—from fans to computers.

Electric motors and the systems they drive are the single largest electrical power consumer—more than twice as much as lighting, the next largest energy-consuming product.

In off-grid contexts, motors power fans, productive use applications like solar water pumps, and hand-powered tools—all of which enable the world’s poorest people to increase productivity and quality of life.

Facts & Figures

Motors and motor systems account for approximately 53% of global electricity consumption. Motors can stay in use for 20 years or longer, so the energy used over the lifetime of a product can easily accrue and is further exacerbated by inefficient design. Without comprehensive efficiency measures, energy consumption from electric motors is expected to rise 13,360 TWh per year by 2030, ticking up carbon emissions to 8,570 Mt per year.

The global grid-connected motor market comprises a multi-billion dollar industry, with new sales growing at an annual rate of 2.5%. Consumers now spend USD $565 billion annually on electricity used in these electric motor-driven systems and by 2030, that could reach close to $900 billion.

Cutting carbon and improving energy access with efficient motors

By using more efficient motors, countries can save 300 TWh per year of electricity in 2030, saving 200 Mt of CO2 emissions—equivalent to the annual electricity generated by approximately 60 coal-fired power plants with a capacity of 1,000 MW.

To encourage the uptake of more efficient motors, more than 50 countries have enacted policies designed to improve the energy efficiency of electric motors. In addition, replacing outdated motors can significantly decrease energy waste. For example, between 1990 and 2013, induction motor energy efficiency improvements led to a 40% reduction in energy lost to inefficiency.

A Global LEAP analysis indicates that recent technology advancements and design improvements, such as brushless DC motors designed for use in off- and weak-grid appropriate settings, could cut energy consumption by 50%.

Insights & Analysis

Linking Energy Management Systems & Motor Efficiency Standards Policies

This collaborative study explores ways for energy efficiency programs to achieve greater savings in the industrial sector.

Accelerating the Global Adoption of Energy Efficient Motors and Motor Systems

The report guides policymakers on how to promote energy-efficient electric motors in their respective national markets.

Evaluation of International Comparable Compliance, Certification, and Enforcement Requirements for Electric Motors

Best practice advice for motor compliance, certification, and enforcement frameworks. The analysis also reviews motor MEPS in place around the world and recommends motor efficiency levels.

Potential Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction from applying Circular Economy Principles to Ecodesign Products

This study analyzes potential greenhouse gas emissions reduction potential for products in a circular economy—a system that applies nature’s intrinsic “circle of life” concept to consumer products and appliances.

CLASP and the The Policy Partners Compare Global Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards & Labels

This collaborative analysis is the largest and most comprehensive comparison of energy standards and labels ever compiled, covering more than in 100 products in nine major economies worldwide.

Policy Guidelines for Electric Motor Systems: Toolkit for Policymakers

These tools guide policymakers in designing and implementing a strategy to encourage the uptake of energy efficient electric motors and motor systems.

Energy Efficient Motors: Advantages Throughout the Supply Chain

This fact sheet details the cost and climate benefits of applying energy efficiency policies to motors and motor-driven systems.

Linking Energy Management Systems & Motor Efficiency Incentive Policies

This collaborative study, which examined programs in Canada, South Africa, and the US, explores how industrial-sector motor energy efficiency programs can achieve greater energy savings.

Potential for Energy Efficiency Improvement in Motor Repairs

Motors are expensive, so they’re often repaired rather than replaced. This report explores the energy efficiency improvement potential from best-practice motor repair policies in China, Japan, New Zealand, the US, and Vietnam.

SEAD Motor Awards

By recognizing and promoting super-efficient electric motors, the international SEAD competition for motors helps buyers make informed purchasing decisions that can lower energy bills and spur greater innovation.

IEA 4E Electric Motor Systems Annex

This initiative raises worldwide awareness of the energy efficiency potential of motor systems, providing guidance, tools, and data.